Apr 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm #1272003
I've gotten my boyfriend to consider looking at Tarptents as a way to cut down our weight. He had been unhappy with the SMD Lunar Duo, due to how "fussy" he felt the set-up was. Currently we have a REI QuarterDome T2 Plus (4# 14 ounces!).
Another problem we have with that tent, besides the weight, is finding a large enough spot to set it up in. We're considering a long tent with 1 large door that might be able to fit into narrower spaces. We're also considering the Cloudburst 2, but are concerned about space for gear, and thought the 3 person might have better room.
Have those who have used a Rainshadow 2 ever felt that it was too wide for finding good places to pitch? We hike in the Olympics and Cascades, and haven't ventured into stealth camping, so we're using approved sites–so far.Apr 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm #1722764
I've used a RainShadow 2 for two adults quite a bit. It does require a bit of space but it sure is palatial on the inside!
I'm not familiar with tent sites in your area but we've shoehorned the RainShadow 2 into a couple of stealth sites in northern MN.Apr 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm #1722789
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
We've owned both of those tents, along with a Double Rainbow. The Rainshadow, if anything, requires more space than the Lunar Duo. However, it is somewhat easier to set up, and it does sleep three full size people — and it's awesome for two. And it can be shoehorned into some smallish sites.
We're using the Lunar Duo these days, and I will say I learn something new every time I set it up. But I like the simplicity and the two doors and vestibules.Apr 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm #1723007
I havent used my Smd duo on trail yet but setting it up in yard seems easy enough, but much better for me and my full size son on long 14 day hikes.we were useing our TT Squall 2 very nice but just to tite for two full size men,but easy to set and lite wieght but very tite. If you get in some bad weather way to tite .I like both products but for two full size people the Smd duo …JerryApr 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #1723207
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have the Rainshadow 2 and use it for my family of three.
For two of you, it will be palacial in size with plenty of room for you and your gear.
However, it is big and on a few trips with it, it requires finding a spcial spot to fit it. (I am used to a bivy and tarp, which is on the opposite end of the spectrum for size).
If size is a concern, you might want to look at the Double Rainbow, which has the convience of two doors and is relatively narrow and can fit in some tighter spots.
Interior space wise, don't think you will be disappointed.
Something else to consider as you make your switch from the freestanding REI tent, is the pole layout needed for each tarptent.
The Rainshadow can use one or two poles (recommend using two), unless you can angles them to the sides of the entrance, you might have an issue of accidentally knocking it out of position at night getting in and out of the tent.
The Double Rainbow does not have that issue, though you might check on the vestibule size for your gear.
Either way, Henry makes some great shelters that will serve you well.
Good luck and let us know what you decide on.
-TonyApr 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm #1723237
I had done some research, and had actually purchased the Lunar Duo. The set-up didn't seem to be that unreasonable to me, but he felt there was too much adjusting to be done to get a taut pitch. Granted, we got the tent at a bad time for him, his fuse for everything was short. Now he might have more patience with it, so I might see if I can get him to consider it again. Being able to see in the video on Tarptent's website the set-up was a great help in getting him to consider the Cloudburst or Rainshadow. The main appeal for the Cloudburst was the inherent structure from the poles, but there is just not quite enough room for people and gear.Apr 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm #1723434
sorry I just cant think of any issues setting the duo compared to the t.t. ,weve set our TT squall2 about 40 times ,the first couple were less than acceptable, but it got easier(except in bad weather ) and better as time went on walking the pct. so when we got the SMD duo it just went right up no problems ,the tarptent product does have better adjustment straps for the bathtub floor . I dont think your ever going to get ether to have a perfect set up ,BUT THE KEY I think is to remember because of the material you have to go back and retitten all the tie downs before bed time ,its very stretchy fabric.
theres a video on you tube on set up of the duo ,I would not give up on it Yet….PS also the foot print is very close to the same size as the squall2(with the vestibules tied up)the rainshadow2 is quite large…JerryApr 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm #1723443
heres the videos I seen on you tube .they are both done by the same guy search you tube for ….HikeBikeDale:Six moon designs lunar duo review ……and HikeBikeDale:Tarp Tent Double RainBow Review…nice reviews and setups…JerryApr 12, 2011 at 12:00 am #1723481
There is plenty of room in a squall 2 for two people plus gear. My wife and I have slept comfortably in one with both our backs stored in the bottom of the tent.Apr 12, 2011 at 2:20 am #1723505
Something that you can do yourself (I often suggest this…) is to make a floor plan with some masking tape (painters tape ?)
Like this :
(this particular floor plan is for an Aussie brand tent…)
I believe that the dimension given by both TT and SMD are pretty accurate so since (I think…) you already know what the Lunar Duo looks like erected , make a floor plan of that then superimpose the Rainshadow or DR to see how it looks to you.
The floor plan of the TT is in the specification page under "show dimensions" there is also a 3d view using the std 72×20" mat to give you a bit of an idea of the volume available (under :video)
FrancoApr 12, 2011 at 7:49 am #1723549
@davidpasseyLocale: New York City
I have the Rainshadow and have packed with it in the West Canada Lakes wilderness in the Adirondacks. The terrain there is very overgrown, even in established campsites. I pitched the shelter in some tight spots, without too much trouble. The footprint isn't really that much bigger than a two person tarp (which has guylines stretching out beyond the edges of the tarp).
The Rainshadow is huge–a true three-man shelter. I've never had 3 adults in the shelter, but I had me (5'11, 160), my 12 yr-old son (maybe 85 lbs) and a 6'4 giant (going probably 260 lbs) and the shelter was so spacious we couldn't find each other.
My minor gripes with the shelter:
–the entire body of the tent is all one piece, so even if three are sharing the tent, it's weight can't be shared (other than by alternating days carrying the shelter); one person can carry the poles, one person can carry the rest of the shelter.
–b/c of the all one piece design, it's bulky; three people sharing that tent are thinking ultra light, low volume packs, but the body of the tent is a pretty large package for a smaller volume pack;
–it can't be folded into different shapes without removing the cross bar. This isn't terribly hard to do, but it does add complexity to the set up and take down that is not otherwise apparent (if you want/need to pack it a different shape);
–very slippery inside; I think this can be fixed by painting silicone grip lines on the floor, but that's always been an unattractive solution for me.
All-in-all, these gripes are minor if the shelter otherwise fits your kit, so to speak. But for me, I rarely use the shelter, unless I'm sharing gear with someone who is not an ultralite hiker or if I am traveling in a group of 3 and expect a lot of bugs.Apr 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm #1723698
'it's weight can't be shared (other than by alternating days carrying the shelter); one person can carry the poles, one person can carry the rest of the shelter.'
You can always share the weight of a shelter without splitting it.
Just give half (or a third…) of that weight from your pack to the other guy…
As for the slippery floor, this is how I deal with that :
FrancoApr 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm #1723748
Thanks, Franco—I just got back from the hardware store with the tape, and read your post! I plan to do just that–have the dimensions from both tents to outline on the living room floor.
Ray—I'll take a look at the Squall as well, I had glanced at it but hadn't really given it much thought–it looked about the same as the Cloudburst, only with trekking poles to set it up.Apr 13, 2011 at 9:35 am #1724008
Diane – my mistake. I meant to say the cloudburst 2, not the squal. We have used a cloudbust 2 for several years and have it quite roomy for the two of us.
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